GCC celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy

  • Aija Vriend and her daughter, Aveline, 3, of Greenfield, who were attending the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at Greenfield Community College Monday, carefully construct tissue paper suncatchers. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Greenfield Community College President Yves Salomon-Fernandez welcomes those in attendance at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration held at GCC on Monday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • People dine on salad, pasta and chicken at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at Greenfield Community College on Monday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Arjen and Aija Vriend and their daughter Aveline, 3, of Greenfield, who were attending the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at Greenfield Community College for the first time on Monday, carefully construct tissue paper suncatchers. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Max Caron, 9, and his sister, Lilly Caron, 7, both of Greenfield, display their tissue paper suncatchers they made at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration held Monday at Greenfield Community College STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Attendees work on a circle-themed community art piece at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration held at GCC on Monday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, was on hand to introduce Grenfield Community College President Yves Salomon-Fernandez during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration on Monday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Laura Diluzio, of Northfield, has been bringing her daughter, Vivienne, 9, left, to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at Greenfield Community College for years, and brought her friend, Ramona Pinto, also of Northfield, and her son, Nathaniel, 10. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 1/20/2020 10:36:39 PM

GREENFIELD — Thirty-seven years after the first Martin Luther King Jr. Day was celebrated, the civil rights leader’s legacy lived on in song and celebration at Greenfield Community College on Monday.

The day started with workshops and panel discussions about King’s message of hope, youth voicing their concerns about climate change, and a question and answer session with author and philanthropist Robert Carr about his book “First Chance: How Kids With Nothing Change Everything.” Other workshops for children involved themed arts and crafts projects and a chance to challenge themselves on the indoor rock climbing wall.

New to Greenfield, Arjen and Aija Vriend and their daughter, Aveline, 3, attended the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration for the first time. They sat in the bright dining commons carefully constructing suncatchers by arranging colorful tissue paper in the shape of a peace sign, hearts, butterflies or a dove, and then locking them in place between two pieces of clear contact membrane.

While Arjen Vriend concentrated on his butterfly, Aija Vriend helped her daughter with her peace sign while remarking how well the event developed crafts and activities that reinforce the values and messages taught by King.

Laura Diluzio, of Northfield, said she has been bringing her daughter, Vivienne, 9, to the event for five years now, ever since she discovered a book in kindergarten about King. So, bringing Vivienne to an event that celebrated the civil rights leader seemed natural, Diluzio said.

Her friend Ramona Pinto, also of Northfield, brought her 10-year-old son, Nathaniel, to GCC’s event for the first time. Nathaniel said he thought the celebration was “really cool,” noting he liked learning about the Nobel Peace Prize and King’s other achievements.

“The dove is a symbol of peace” he added.

Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, attended to introduce GCC President Yves Salomon-Fernandez. Comerford stressed the importance of education and the community college. With education comes “equitable access to opportunities,” she said, leveling the playing field for all.

Salomon-Fernandez then spoke to the significance of the day and how GCC is expanding the event, with more discussion panels and workshops while engaging more seniors and young adults.

Reach Paul Franz at
413-772-0261, ext. 287 or pfranz@recorder.com.




Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906

 

Copyright © 2019 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy